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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  April 27, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news america."
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>> this is "bbc world news america." a deadly day in damascus, a suicide bomber killed nine comment heaping more pressure on kofi annan's peace plan. >> all the rumors on the internet, all the accusations against me and my family -- >> how tribal leaders in south dakota are trying to ban shops from selling their community booze. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe.
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the ongoing and any in syria has taken another turn for the worse. a bomb had exploded in central damascus, killing at least nine people. syrian state television is blaming it on a suicide bomber. activist groups said the government was behind the attack. the continued violence cast further doubt on the international peace plan. with reports from beirut. >> more bad news for kofi annan. a deadly suicide bomb in the hearts of damascus. state television carried gruesome pictures of the aftermath. it all reinforces the regime's argument that it is facing a terrorist onslaught. with government shelling still going on, activist accused the
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regime itself of being behind the damascus bomb to distract attention from its continuing use of heavy weapons in defiance of the peace plan. under the plan, troops and tanks with a gun back weeks ago. activists said the regime has killed more than 460 people since the u.n. observer started arriving. the regime accused is what it calls armed terrorist groups of carrying out a string of assassinations and other attacks. it says it has documented more than 1300 violations. rebel fighters are active on the ground. the kofi annan plan calls for them to stand down, too. up in the north, the free syrian army was announcing the formation of a new unit. that is also in contravention of the kofi annan plan. russia is backing the regime and
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blaming the rebels. that makes action by the security council out of the question. where do we go from here? >> yesterday, to senior u.s. officials told a congressional hearing that the u.s. felt the peace plan was failing, and they said they were considering contingencies. that seems to me to indicate that washington is moving towards a stance that is favored by arab countries that if the so-called cease-fire falls apart, you may have some type of humanitarian zone. >> for the moment, the plan is still the only game in town. getting the badly needed u.n. observers in is proving painfully slow. in the meantime, events on the grounds are threatening to run out of hand. >> for more on the continuing conflict in syria -- on the continuing conflict in syria, i
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am joined by the u.s. ambassador to morocco. can the peace plan be saved? >> it can only be saved if the united nations authorizes a much more expedient deployment of armed monitors as well as efforts to provide humanitarian relief and to shore up the nation's syrian opposition. it is going to take more than parachuting into or 300 observers that are unarmed. -- 200 or 300 observers that are unarmed. by now, anyone's best guess is that more monitors when not arrive for another month or two. >> you are talking about arming the opposition and the monitors. but the u.s. is very much against this. >> i do not believe the united states -- the administration has made it clear that it does not
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want to be forced into a libya- style involvement in syria. but the arab league allies are faulk -- biting at the bit to begin providing more arms to the free syrian army. the united states has been reluctant to support that for fear that by doing so, the united states would inevitably have to involve itself more in the syrian conflict. that is not necessarily the case and i think the administration to but the turks and the arab league to do what is necessary as long as the cease-fire continues to be violated. >> do you think is only a matter of time before the opposition is arms? >> the opposition is receiving covert arms from other countries in the region. they're getting their arms from somewhere. across the border from jordan, lebanon, turkey. turkey has provided safe haven to the leadership of the free syrian army. if turkey is providing that safe haven, you can be certain that
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arms are already reaching them. >> you seem to be implying that the path of diplomacy is now over. is that the case? >> listen, even the mafia has a code of honor. the syrian government clearly does not. it committed to a cease-fire, which it has consistently violated. the monitors themselves of almost ben h. for those syrians who have saw out there help -- a date for the syrians to have saw out there help. given the fact that the ingredients for an effective peacekeeping force is not there, let's be realistic. kofi annan is trying his best under circumstances by definition are doomed to fail. >> ambassador, always good to talk to you. battle tongstanding silence activist has led to many
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been invested and imprisoned. over the weekend, one such a diffident -- dissident defied the authorities by escaping from house arrest. his supporters say he is now safe. chen guangcheng's extra nouri ordeal has made all the more spectacular because of the fact he is -- extraordinary ordeal has made all more spectacular because he is blind. >> chen guangcheng is one of china's most famous human rights campaigners. he has been under -- addressing chinese communist leaders directly, he called on them to investigate his treatment. he said it was an example of the unchecked abuses of power. how he escaped in his village confinement is a mystery.
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all attempts to reach an have been blocked. activists were often attacked and beaten. a year ago, footage showed chen and his son under house arrest was smuggled out. how the blind lawyer slipped away is not clear. chen guangcheng spent four years in this prison after exposing away thousands of women underwent forced abortions. there are now fears for the safety of his wife and child, to be left behind. he had a direct question for china's premier. he asked wen jiabao if the local officials were acting on their own or with the support of the central government. i think you should give the
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people a clear answer, he said. in recent days, china's leaders have been struggling to contain one crisis. chen guangcheng's this data gives the menu problem. -- escaped gives them a new problem. >> an extraordinary tale of bravery. to japan, where the issue of u.s. troops stationed there since the second world war has long been a strain on relations between both countries. now it seems a compromise may be close. thousands of u.s. marines will leave their base and okinawa. at least 10,000 u.s. troops will remain in the country, much to the annoyance of the locals. >> for more than 60 years, japan and united states have been allies. flags of the two countries are
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flown at side-by-side i basis in okinawa. many islanders the been reluctant hosts. now 9000 marines are being moved to locations in the pacific. a substantial presence will remain. the announcement comes days before japan's prime minister flies to washington to visit the white house. it brought down one of its predecessors. the deal was welcomed by the japanese government. >> i believe it has been good because we have been able to maintain a strong position, but also been able to decrease the burden on the okinawa people. >> the issue of american military bases has not been resolved and could still strained alliance. the u.s. marines pretend --
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attend the base in the city center and it has long been a source of grievance. many have campaigned for it to be moved off the island altogether. when the two governments said there is no viable alternative to sticky -- sticking to a previously agreed plan. >> at least 27 people have been injured in a number of explosions in the ukraine. the blasts were near the eastern city, the first was close to a central stop. two more bombs detonated later. the european and world champions porcelain are looking for a new coach -- barcelona are looking for a new coach. the 41-year-old says he intends to take a one-year sabbatical from football.
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staying with spain, there has been more depressing news on the economic front today as newly released figures show that nearly a quarter of the work force is jobless. the highest level in 18 years. more than 5.5 million people are looking for work, giving it the highest unemployment rate of all the euro zone countries. >> the jobless rate is the highest in europe. >> i keep on looking, i have taken anything, but there is not much around. cut the jobless crisis in spain includes many people casualty of the boom and bust in the construction industry. >> i have taken a load of course is as an electrician. i took a course in massage, but
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that was no good either. they said i cannot work. >> spain has slipped back into a recession, said the rise in unemployment is to be expected. in the short term, they just add to the pain. it is felt acutely by young people. the situation is even worse for useful employment. the problem is that spain is in a recession. the recession is deepening. unemployment will continue to rise substantially further. >> the problems are mounting for the prime minister. another credit rating downgrade. the agency expects the recession to drag on into next year and things it is likely that the government allowed a hefty bill. s&p says labor law reform should
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call to money help create jobs, but the immediate outlook is for high unemployment. >> there is one more fiscal not growth figures showed the economy has slowed in the first quarter of the share. only expanding at a rate of 2.2%. one of amsterdam's most infamous tourist attractions is the city's coffee shops where you can buy and smoked cannabis. now that the industry could be threatened after cafe owners lost their court battle against the government. we have this report from amsterdam. >> the netherlands is famous for its liberal approach to soft drugs. it is not strictly illegal to smoke here, its use is tolerated. the dutch government
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decriminalized possession of less than 5 grams of cannabis in 1976. cannabis cafes and coffee shops are a major sites in most cities. and a major attraction for tourists. now the government wants to tighten the restrictions. " i think it is ridiculous. it is a shame because i believe the world admires the dutch for the pragmatic and forward thinking of you on how to handle what they consider soft drugs. it seems they are going back in time, digressing. >> the new law is designed to cut the numbers of drug tourists. residents complained they were creating nuisances. it is also designed to cut cross
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border crime. ♪ from the first of may, coffeeshops will become members only clubs. up to 2000 membership cards will be issued by each cafe to residents over the age of 18. the law will come into effect across the country at the end of this year. there are around 700 coffeeshops in the netherlands. owners fighting the ban said the new law discriminates between eu citizens on the basis of where they left. some claimed the new rules will cost of to 90% of their business. >> it is disappointing for everybody involved. there is no problem, we do not have problems with tourists. >>. amsterdam, it is thought that a
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third of tourists are attracted by the opportunity to smoke cannabis. there are fears it could have a huge impact on tourism. the mayor is hoping to negotiate some kind of deal with the government to ensure that tourists attracted by the cannabis can keep on coming. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." up, up away, could space travel beginning cheaper? -- be getting cheaper? a major security alert close down parts of central london after a man walked into an office allegedly threatening to blow himself up. >> central london in broad daylight, armed police rushed towards the reported hostage situation. from the third floor of this building, computers and office
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equipment thrown on to the street below. it started at lunchtime when the men -- when a man offered -- entered a company. an employee said he was a previous client with a grievance. he appeared to have explosives strapped to him. >> strapped up with gasoline. he does not care about anything. >> a lot part of london's red was cordoned off. workers in neighboring offices fled to safety. >> when the individual had come into the offices, a few men managed to escape quite quickly. they came down the fire escape. >> as suddenly as it had begun, it was over. the police let a man out of the building in handcuffs. they say he is a 49-year-old man
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from the area. some workers who had been trapped in the building in march shortly after word to describe their experiences. >> we are all fine, we were altogether keeping each other calm. >> this incident has been brought to a successful conclusion. with the olympics three months away, the lasting the organizers would have wanted to see is a security alert in the center of london. the police are still questioning the man arrested at the scene. >> in the u.s. state of south dakota, the indian reservation is home to a tribe that is battling against alcoholism. despite the fact that alcohol is banned from the reservation, doors across the state line have been selling it to them. now the leaders are taking the
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shops that distributed and the breweries to court to demand $500 million in damages. >> neb., home to 12 residents. four busy beer stores. these shops 5 -- they sell 5 million bottles of beer and gear. >> i am 52 years old. i guess my beer from that beer joint. >> most of that beer travels a short walk down this road, across the border into south dakota. this is the pine ridge indian reservation, the second largest reservation in the u.s. it is estimated that about 80% of those living there have one or more members suffering from
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alcoholism. >> we drank until there is no tomorrow, you know. that is how we drank. >> he is a recovering alcoholic and father of 12. >> we go out there and buy beer. it takes half an hour. it depends. some people use wheelchairs or crutches and welfare. >> the tribal council is suing the shop, the distributors, and the breweries. $500 million suit argues with the vast amount of beer being sold, companies must know that is being used illegally. >> we have tried up and down many avenues. that is a respect for our country -- for agriculture. >> -- for our culture.
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>> it is not illegal. it is not illegal to buy alcohol if the tribe is so concerned, put up a roadblock. the leaders are buying themselves. then they want to file the lawsuit. >> for buying all or alcohol and ruining your lives. we want to do something good in return, but they have yet to do that. all they give us is pain and suffering. >> everybody in white clay is an alcoholic. that one behind you is an alcoholic. that is an alcoholic.
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>> it cannot solve all their problems, but for many, the lawsuit is the best place to start. >> the battle facing them. finding new are cheaper ways of getting into space is the challenge inquest but scientists the world over. one group thinks they are close to making a cost-effective space travel of reality. according to its makers, this space -- spacecraft is reusable and pilotless. our science editor has bent to meet the man behind the project. >> for 60 years, there is only been one way to reach space. on a rocket blasting straight up. and it is always expensive. imagine instead, just taking off from a runway and flying into
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orbit. this is a british design for a space -- it has not been built, but the project has reached a crucial stage. the key is a completely new kind of motor, an ingenious concept for a jet engine and a rockets rolled into one. the engineers go through their checks. this has to work if the space plane is to have a chance of flying. >> because of the high pressures involved, everyone has to wear protection. it is designed to go five times the speed of sound. when it is going but quickly, the flow of air reaches 1000 degrees celsius. this unique device cools the air to well below zero. that should make space travel easier. the tests are now under way. >> pre, too, want. -- 3, 2, 1.
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>> this is one of the series of experiments to check if the idea is viable. engineers have worked with during the funding. -- very little funding. so far, so good. the designers are thinking big. >> it is like going to new york. you go to an airport, you get on an airplane. getting into space will be like that with this type of technology. >> it is a long way from launching. the european space agency checked over and found nothing wrong. >> looking at the technology, this should work. it could fly. >> billions of pounds are needed, clever engineering is not enough to make this british space dream and reality. >> that is it from us. have a good weekend.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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